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Bradenton IMG Academy coach: New Miami WR commit is among best leaders he has coached

Michael Redding III’s commitment to the Miami Hurricanes on Sunday came out of nowhere. The four-star wide receiver checked in at The Opening finals and told reporters in Frisco, Texas, his recruitment was nowhere near over.

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Less than an hour later, he tweeted his commitment to Miami.

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The surprise nature of his pledge — paired with the Hurricanes’ relatively recent push to start seriously recruiting the in-state wideout — has made him something of a mystery prospect so far. His production was limited in his first year at Bradenton IMG Academy as he played in a crowded receivers corps and his relationship with Miami is still relatively new after he took his first unofficial visit to Coral Gables last month.

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His coach at IMG Academy, however, feels comfortable calling Redding “a huge get” for Manny Diaz the Hurricanes — and not just because he’s a top-200 prospect in the 247Sports.com composite rankings for the Class of 2020.

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SAVE NOW “He is really — and I don’t say this lightly — one of the top three or four leaders we’ve had since I’ve been here in the last five years,” IMG coach Kevin Wright said. “He is the ultimate team guy. … It takes a real special guy to be an alpha at IMG because there are so many guys that have great ability, but he leads both by example and he’s also a vocal guy, and he’s just such a positive guy.”

Redding’s list of offers numbered in the dozens with teams like the Florida State Seminoles, Florida Gators and Oregon Ducks all in consideration before Redding’s surprise oral pledge. Schools were tantalized by his obvious physical gifts — Redding checks in at 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, and ran a 40-yard dash in 4.56 seconds at The Opening Orlando regional in February — and the Hurricanes were also blown away by his personality.

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Michael Redding III (@ReddingIII) June 30, 2019

Redding currently holds a 3.8 GPA, Wright said, and will likely be one of the Ascenders captains as a senior in the fall after he caught 13 passes for 219 yards and four touchdowns as a junior.

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“When he first got here, you saw just the raw potential and then as I got to know him the person really stood out,” Wright said. “I think he’s a huge get for Miami. I think he’s the type of kid that Coach Diaz is looking for form an athletic standpoint and just from a locker room standpoint. Big-time get.”

The closest comparisons Wright has for Redding are actually a pair of offensive linemen. While he couldn’t possibly list off everyone who has been an impressive leader for him in Bradenton, Wright puts Redding in a group with Notre Dame Fighting Irish tackle Robert Hainsey and star Michigan Wolverines center Cesar Ruiz, both of whom started as freshman and both of whom could wind up as first-round picks in the NFL Draft

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Wright saw the personality start to shine through in the spring. Each year, IMG kicks off spring practices with a lock-in boot camp, bringing in an Iraq War veteran to put the Ascenders through the paces. Each year, it’s a chance for leaders to step up once the upperclassmen realize they’re now the veterans in the locker room

Redding, who transferred to IMG from Pensacola West Florida in the spring of his sophomore year, naturally stepped into the leadership void and embraced it throughout the rest of the year. Later in the spring, Redding helped organize a group of upperclassman from his team to go attend the academy’s eighth-grade graduation

With Diaz hoping to overhaul the Hurricanes’ culture, Redding can be part of a change in direction

“It doesn’t get much better than Michael as a student-athlete and that’s where I think it’s just a huge win for Miami,” Wright said. “They’re getting not just a great player, but he’s going to be great for the locker room.”